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540-Person Inwood Nightclub Rejected by Community Board

 Cairo plans to open in spring 2016 at 400 W. 202nd St.
Cairo plans to open in spring 2016 at 400 W. 202nd St.
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DNAinfo/Lindsay Armstrong

INWOOD — Let's not get this party started.

Community Board 12 voted against recommending a liquor license for a 540-person nightclub proposed for West 202nd Street Tuesday, citing its large capacity and late hours, as well as the growing number of liquor licenses in the area.

Rud Morales, owner of Uptown’s Negro Claro Lounge and a member of CB12, initally brought her application for the club called Cairo at 400 W. 202nd St. before the board's licensing committee on Feb. 11.

Under the proposal, the venue would host up to 540 patrons at a time, with room for 300 people inside and 240 in the sidewalk café and rooftop terrace. The club would operate from 8 p.m. to 4 a.m. and feature DJs on weekend nights. It's slated to open in spring 2016.

Morales said she planned to apply for a cabaret license from the Department of Consumer Affairs to allow dancing in the space, according to meeting minutes. She also said she had arranged for 200 parking spots to be reserved for Cairo patrons at nearby garages.

A representative from the 34th Precinct who attended the meeting expressed concerns about the growing number of late-night venues with liquor licenses that are operating along this corridor of Ninth and 10th Avenues.

Aldemar Diaz, chairman of the licensing committee, told the board at the full meeting Tuesday that the area has come under more scrutiny as the number of large venues has increased.

“The precinct is sounding the call of public safety more often now because there are at least five businesses with a capacity of 500 people each in that area,” Diaz said.

This corridor has also been the site of several late-night assaults stemming from disputes between bar patrons, according to minute meetings.

Diaz said the committee tried to negotiate precinct-recommended changes to the operating hours.

“There was controversy about the closing time,” Diaz told the board Tuesday. “It was recommended that the owner change the closing time to 2 a.m., but the owner refused.”

The board voted almost unanimously against recommending the license. However, Morales can still submit her application to the State Liquor Authority, which has final approval on all applications.

Morales did not attend the full board meeting and could not immediately be reached for comment.